Tower ‘Undermining Faith in Planning System’

Filed under Cityscape, News ~ by Press on  19 Aug 2019
Lord Mayor responds to Star Casino tower review plan: “Undermining the public’s faith in the planning system.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has rejected claims that the Star Casino’s Pyrmont tower is necessary to fuel Sydney’s tourism industry, saying the proposal is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Proposed Star Casino tower at Pyrmont, Sydney. Image supplied.

It is misleading to say that the Star Casino proposed tower is a hotel. It is in fact a 33-35 storey luxury residential tower, with a 22 storey hotel on top,” the Lord Mayor said.

The Department of Planning is right in recommending that the Independent Planning Commission reject the tower because it is eight times higher than the planning controls for the area allow.

The Star should get rid of the residential floors, and design a 6-Star hotel for the area.”

In a Lord Mayor Minute to be presented to Council this evening, the Lord Mayor acknowledged the need for hotels in our city, noting that the City has prioritised hotel developments, approving over 5,700 hotel rooms in the past five years.

The City has approved over $25 billion of development in the past 10 years. Our ability to effectively assess and approve applications and deliver well designed buildings relies upon controls that have been developed in consultation with the community, business and developers.”

The Lord Mayor responded to the Premier’s announcement that the Greater Sydney Commission had been directed to review the area’s planning rules for Pyrmont, calling on the commission to ensure the public interest is upheld in the review.

Planning rules are put in place to ensure that the community is consulted about the future of their built environment, and the integrity of the planning system relies on a fundamental principle – that a common set of rules applies to all, not ad hoc decisions to accommodate the interests of the powerful.

As residents in Pyrmont have expressed to me, their suburb is a successful example of urban renewal. It has transformed from an industrial area to a thriving and densely populated suburb with a burgeoning start-up and technology sector.

Pyrmont doesn’t need a massive residential tower over eight times higher than the planning controls, it needs a metro station linking it to the CBD and metropolitan Sydney to reach its potential.

If the Star Casino’s proposal goes ahead it will undermine the public’s faith in the planning system. You may as well tear up the rule book.

It appears that the certainty that the City of Sydney’s earlier planning process gave to the residents for Pymont, which influenced their decision to live there, is under threat. It is an astounding betrayal of public trust.”

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